South Sudan vows to enhance security for aid workers

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JUBA, March 29 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Wednesday vowed to enhance security for aid workers following recent attacks which have led to the loss of innocent lives and the looting of food and other items meant to help the vulnerable people.

"The ministry takes this opportunity to apologize for these very unfortunate and senseless incidents and for the loss of lives of innocent people, who were providing humanitarian services," Albino Akol Atak, minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, told journalists in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Early this month, a humanitarian convoy was attacked in South Sudan's Jonglei State, leaving two people dead and several others injured.

There were more than 20 violent incidents against humanitarian staff and assets in January alone, more than double what it was in January 2022, according to the UN.

Akol assured that the government is determined to provide adequate security for the safe delivery of humanitarian deliveries and assets to various destinations in the country.

He revealed plans by South Sudan to conduct a forum between humanitarian actors and armed groups to address the challenge of insecurity faced by aid workers working to deliver aid to the vulnerable people in the country.

Peter Van der Auweraert, acting humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, said humanitarian agencies operating in the country are optimistic about new coordination and collaboration between the government and aid agencies, stressing that it is more important going forward in saving the lives of the vulnerable people.

South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers, with nine humanitarian workers killed in the line of duty and 418 incidents reported in 2022, according to the UN.

An estimated 9.4 million people in South Sudan are projected to need humanitarian assistance or protection services in 2023, the UN said. Enditem

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